Floppy Drive for a Mac Mini Core2Duo 2.4

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So I get off the rig in a couple days and have been thinking of a project to do for my 28 Days off. My wife has been hounding me for sometime to recover quite a few pictures off some floppy's with pictures from the late 90's. Probably 200 floppy's i am guessing.

What i am looking to do is recover the pictures from the floppy's made with a Sony Mavica Camera Sony Mavica - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The computer i would like to use is my 2010 Mac Mini Core2Duo 2.4ghz, 4gb ram, 500 gb HDD running Lion.

Has anyone done anything similar to this?

Will any old floppy drive i buy from Amazon work like Amazon.com: Sabrent External USB 1.44 MB 2x Floppy Disk Drive (FL-UDRV) Black: Computers & Accessories

I'm good with spending some extra scratch. it's worth saving all the memories. Will there be software that i need to help extract the photos?

Any help will be appreciated. I would like to order the Floppy drive so its at my house in Utah before i arrive.
 

chscag

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I don't know about the floppy drive you referenced - although I suspect it will work OK, but I have an older Sony USB 2 floppy drive that works great with my 2013 iMac. I have extracted numerous older programs and data from 3.5" 1.44MB floppies without a problem. You shouldn't need any special software to extract the photos - assuming they're JPGs.
 
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I don't know about the floppy drive you referenced - although I suspect it will work OK, but I have an older Sony USB 2 floppy drive that works great with my 2013 iMac. I have extracted numerous older programs and data from 3.5" 1.44MB floppies without a problem. You shouldn't need any special software to extract the photos - assuming they're JPGs.

Yeah the format is what i am worried about. Not sure if they are JPGs or not. i know on the wiki i put up it shows "The later Digital Mavicas recorded onto 3.5" 1.4 MiB 2HD floppy disks in computer-readable DOS FAT12 format" which i am unsure the mini can read. I guess it may be a crap shoot at this point.

it seams i tried to take one of the floppy's back in the mid 2000's and stick it in a floppy i had on a xp machine and i couldn't get the pictures to come up but i can't remember what that problem was for sure.

maybe i will look for a sony branded floppy drive.
 
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Changed my mind. Sony wants a down payment for a car for their floppy drives. i just ordered the one in my original post. it had some pretty good reviews and was free shipping with prime.

Now hopefully it works.

BTW i looked at mac2sell trying to figure out the specs. i wasn't sure what year it is and i couldn't look since im on the rig. anyhow i saw that its only worth 150.. No way i would ever part with that little awesome machine for 150. i would buy one for all my kids for 150 a piece. Best little computer i have ever had.
 
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chscag

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Changed my mind. Sony wants a down payment for a car for their floppy drives. i just ordered the one in my original post. it had some pretty good reviews and was free shipping with prime.

What were they asking? I bought mine in Office Depot several years ago for $35.
 
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79 Dollars up to 150. I just paid the 13 bucks.

When I used to build PC's i always bought the 7 dollars ones. I am feeling pretty safe with the cheaper 13 dollar one.

I am mostly worried about the format of the disks themselves.
 

chscag

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I wouldn't worry about the format. Your Mini can read FAT-12 as well as it can FAT-32. The only difference between them is sector size in DOS. And that $79 price by Sony is ridiculous when Amazon is selling probably the same "made in China" USB floppy drive for $13.
 
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I wouldn't worry about the format. Your Mini can read FAT-12 as well as it can FAT-32. The only difference between them is sector size in DOS. And that $79 price by Sony is ridiculous when Amazon is selling probably the same "made in China" USB floppy drive for $13.

Oh I knew it could read Fat 32 i didn't know it could read Fat 12.

I agree with you on the Sony price being ridiculous.

I am pretty excited about this little project :)
 
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Update

So I got home yesterday and started to use the floppy drive with the discs I mentioned before. I tried it 3 ways.

First with my mini but the drive was making a weird noise so I disconnected it
Second with my work windows 8.1 machine. The drive worked but 8.1 just said every disc needed formatting
Third plugged it into my MacBook running snow leopard. It was Macking the same noise as the mini but I decided to try a disc anyways. The MacBook worked I could see my pictures! I didn't like not using a mouse so I tried the mini again it also worked.

Now the problem I am running into is that some pictures and some discs aren't being able to be read. A thing I can do to try and recover data from a floppy?
 

chscag

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Now the problem I am running into is that some pictures and some discs aren't being able to be read. A thing I can do to try and recover data from a floppy?

That's a problem which occurs when the floppy was originally written to. Not all floppy drives (PC or Mac) write data to a floppy the same exact way. Usually the differences are very tiny and the disk can be read in another drive from a PC or Mac. However, sometimes the floppy is written to in a way that it can only be read from the same exact drive that wrote to it. That's the problem you're running into.

About the only thing you can do is try reading the floppies in another drive and keep trying until one can read from it. Otherwise the data is not going to be recoverable. I've gone thru that before even trying to use my older "Norton Utilities" program which can read low level, but even that failed because the drive can't read the floppy.
 

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However, sometimes the floppy is written to in a way that it can only be read from the same exact drive that wrote to it. That's the problem you're running into.

About the only thing you can do is try reading the floppies in another drive and keep trying until one can read from it.

100% agree with what "chscag" mentioned.

Adding to what was mentioned. Floppy drives are highly mechanical devices. I feel what happens over time is…a specific computers floppy drive read/write mechanism slowly wears…and gets out of alignment. When you format a floppy in this drive…that wear/mis-alignment becomes part of the "personality" of that floppy disk. Usually this floppy disk will have no problems being read or written to if used in the floppy drive that originally formatted it. But try using that floppy disk in other floppy drive's…and it's a "coin-flip" as to whether it works or not.

So like "chscag" mentioned…you just have to try reading that disk in other floppy drives you have around…until you are successful (hopefully). Of course in 2014…having one (let alone multiple) floppy drives in the same home is very very very unusual.;)

Good luck,:)

- Nick
 

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